Friday, March 28, 2008

TRR fights for member.

In another lonely internet campaign launched on the EA forums, TRR is trying to get the stats of one of its members reinstated. FatMooseknuckle claims he legitimately earned over 30,000 dogtags but had his account erroneously wiped. So far, TRR vows to fight the wiping and may move on to other games. Will EA look into this case? They should.

Innocent players framed?

Are hackers framing innocent players? Have innocent players been banned? Gamers want to know based on this disclosure by EVENBALANCE which was posted on March 25, 2008 at PBBANS:

"One of the recent enhancements involves our memory scanner which aggressively scans for patterns included in known cheats (public and private). A commercial hack site where we have had recent success catching their subscribers has recently staged a few demonstrations of inserting text-based patterns via certain chat-related systems such as IRC, Instant Messaging, etc. directly into the memory of computers. These are specific text patterns that we have deployed in some supported games in the recent past. It is clear that many of the demonstrators are cheat-supporters willingly participating in the demonstration, but there is evidence that some innocent players had PunkBuster violations triggered during the past few days by the hackers who sent specific text patterns into the chat programs that were open during gameplay. We are removing these text based patterns from our system and encourage admins to not ban for PB violations that occurred during the past few days."

EA structure.

I’m trying to get a better sense of EA and how it works structurally as regards the Battlefield franchise. Obviously we have the Board of Directors and the EA CEO, then below that we have the appropriate division, EA GAMES, and then we get down to more Dice Specific stuff.

The highest contact I was able to ascertain was Patrick Soderlund who was last listed as the EA Dice Manager.

Board of Directors

Leonard S. Coleman – Director
Gary M. Kusin – Director
Gregory B. Maffei – Director
Timothy Mott – Director
Vivek Paul – Director
Lawrence F. Probst III - Chairman of the Board
John Riccitiello – Director
Richard A. Simonson – Director
Linda J. Srere - Director

Stockholder emails:

StockholderCommunications@EA.com StockholderCommunications@EA.com
(will be screened by secretary to make sure it has to do with stockholder communication and not customer support).

EA

John Riccitiello- C.E.O.

Email address unknown.

EA GAMES:

Frank Gibeau.

Email address unknown

EA DICE MANAGER

patrick.soderlund@dice.se

BF2124 COMMUNITY MANAGER

Colin.Clarke@dice.se

GENERAL INQUIRIES

Diceinfo@ea.com

The new reorganization may not help DICE as Dice presumably must stand alone for its budget apart from the lucrative EA Sports Divisions.

Also the email contact information is hard to find for people above a certain level.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Battlefield Director Released.

SIR community releases new improved Battlefield Director

While I have been using FRAPS, there is a new version of a tool for people interested in creating battlefield fan videos:

"BattleDirector is an application for Battlefield movie directors. It streamlines the moviemaking process by allowing filmmakers to go from BFR to AVI in simple steps. The simple GUI provides all the tools you need with one-click access."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I can finally get some sleep.

In space, no need to get boomerang - UPI.com

According to the article:

"A Japanese astronaut has shown a boomerang will return when you throw it in outer space, much like it does on on gravity-bound Earth."

***

Can't wait for the video.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Beer: It's what the doctor ordered.

ABCNEWS BRINGS US THE GOOD NEWS- BEER IS GOOD FOR YOU

In a story which should be filed under Homer Simpson's, "MMMMMM BEER":

"A decade's worth of health research shows that regular, moderate beer intake--one to two 12 ounce glasses per day for men and one for women--can be good for you, especially if you're facing some of the most common diseases related to aging."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Satellite Today :: Arthur C. Clarke Dies

The article states:

"Futurist, scientist and author Arthur C. Clarke, who described the perfect orbit for communications satellites in a paper published in October 1945, died March 17 at his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka."

***

I really enjoyed 2001: A Space Odyssey, as both a book and a movie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MSM

Will the mainstream media investigate the netroots campaign to get an expansion pack and patches for Battlefield 2142?

It's a great question. Let us be serious for a minute. Battlefield 2142 is one of the best games produced. It is very hard to get tired of the game even though it is at times very repetitive. This makes it very unique. The fact that you can play against live players makes it more fun. It is just a game, not like life at all. We need fun in our lives though and games are fun.

What makes this story interesting is that you have all the ingredients for a good news story. You have one of the biggest players in the industry headed by a maverik reformer. EA is currently in the midst of making a hostile takeover bid of another huge gaming company, TakeTwo and is making promises that it will support their titles in the future. You have DICE which has a history of proven success and innovation, hard driven, with a storied franchise like Battlefield. You have people, ordinary gamers, like myself who are huge fans of the game. Finally, you have an NDA from a shadow organization in which leaks and rumors continue to spill out.

What more could you possibly need for a news story? If the MSM fails to pick this one up, it can only because of their obsession with strippers.

Japan appoints cartoon ambassador

Japan appoints cartoon ambassador - Yahoo! News

According to the article:

"Japan has created an unusual government post to promote animation, and named a perfect figure Wednesday to the position: a popular cartoon robot cat named Doraemon."

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's supposed to be about community

The Electric New Paper, Singapore - The Electric New Paper News

'Computer games are not about playing alone in a dodgy room, cutting the world off. We want to have people enjoying games with their families, with their friends, with people from other countries.'

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More on Maps...

At present there are rumors everywhere about the possibility of new maps. NDA's complicate the picture as shadowy testing organizations try to keep everything under wraps. In any event, the forums are a buzz with illicit screenshots, talk, and censorship. Guess we have to wait and see.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Good journalism.


"NYT pays attention to someone who changed things for the better."



New York Times prints story thats fit to print:

"GARY GYGAX died last week and the universe did not collapse. This surprises me a little bit, because he built it."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Latest info from DICE

DICE refuses to publicly commit to supporting and patching BF2142.

Eric9787, as he is known on the Battlefield2142 forums, began a lonely email campaign to get DICE to continue improving its Battlefield 2142 game.

Eric9787 described himself as an avid BF2 & BF2142 gamer who wants to see patches and updates continue to come out for the series. In his email of February 3, 2008, Eric9787 asked, “Can I, as a gamer and as an owner of BF2142, expect further expansion of the game as far as patches, support(against cheaters & illegal ranked servers), free maps & most importantly purchasable booster packs?”

According to information available on the Battlefield2142 forums, in an emailed response on February 5, 2008, Dice replied to Eric9787 “Although we cannot disclose any information about upcoming Updates and expansions at this point in time we are still working on making sure you as a player get the best possible experience when playing Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield 2.”

The response was less than satisfying to some forum trolls. XXBigBacon wrote, “What did you expect?? The response is exa(c)tly what I would have expected to get.” XXBIGBACON further wrote, “I wouldn't hold my breath. Notice they added BF2 in there as well and we all know BF2 has been supportless for awhile now.”

Others took an even bleaker view, as Morgile wrote “You can pretty much bet that no expansions are gonna come out for 2142. If they were, we'd have heard about it by now--we've heard about bad company, right?”

Despite this Eric9787 sent a second email to DICE and then a third. Eventually, Eric9789 posted about another response from DICE date March 4, 2008, “Thank you for your email and we are pleased that you enjoy playing our Battlefield titles. We also understand the frustrations of the community when it comes to new content and update announcements, unfortunately we can not announce content or updates to the community until we are fully aware that we will be able to deliver one and what that will include.”

Eric9787 decided to send another email again asking for further clarification. Refusing to give up, Eric9787 explained his actions, “Since it seems their information concerning Updates and Expansions is confidential until they announce on battlefield.com then My focus now is bringing communication skills to both sides of the group and making us players/consumers have a better data line with DICE. This is the only way to make things better.”

The community has acted and now the ball is still entirely in the hands of DICE. Will they support further expansion? For the full background on this story, you can read the posts here:

http://forums.easports.com/mboards/thread.jspa?threadID=334244&tstart=15

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

OMG! DUE THEY KNOW HOW MUCH HACKING IS GOING ON?

Make Money Playing Video Games, Kwari Is A New Online Game That Lets You Earn Cash For Winning - CBS News

I've seen post after post about hacking, glitchers, aimbots, etc... It's not every player, but it is enough to say this idea sound CRAZY!!! Here's the summary:

"Every time you hit another player you make money, but you can also lose money if you are hit by another player. You don't have to kill them just causing them damage wins you money. The health bar is your bankroll, and every shot that hits you deducts money from your account and adds it to the shooter's Game stakes can range from $0.01 to $1.00 per hit."

Bad news

D&D Co-creator is dead.

According to this article:

"On March 4, Gary Gygax died at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, after suffering two strokes in 2004 and being diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was 69. While the man may not be with us any more, the ideas that he popularized though his work on Dungeons and Dragons will guide the game world for a very long time to come. In many ways, Gary Gygax built the bridge (complete with trolls underneath and dragons flying above) that we walk across every time we play a role-playing game, whether it be with a pen and pencil, a computer, or a home console."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Please provide us with a new patch!!!

I find it very disturbing that the Fall of Berlin is full of glitches. The glitches ruin the game. I used to get lots of dogtags and pistol kills at Fall of Berlin. Now, it is infested with glitchers and wall hackers. Sadly, the only people who can really do anything about this are the designers themselves. They need to release another patch. How can a multibillion dollar corporation continue to operate so recklessly? I have nothing but the utmost respect for EA and I know that no game will ever be perfect. Still this is downright embarrassing.

IGN: Battlefield Heroes Preview

IGN: Battlefield Heroes Preview

IGN has details on the new Battlefield Heroes! Here is a summary of their article:

"Heroes is accessed through a web portal. You sign up, launch the game from there every time after, and can use the site to browse statistics."

"Advertising exists on the website and on loading screens, but not in the actual game. As far as character choice goes, you choose from Royal or National armies. From there you can choose soldier, gunner, or commando classes."

"The game is free to play, but you'll have to option to spend cash on microtransactions. "The things we sell will be determined by the opinion of the community, but we will probably start off with two types of items," says Cousins. "The first kind is purely visual items for your character – glasses, hats, boots, jackets etc. The second type of items is what we call convenience items. Let's say we have two people playing Heroes – one has lots of time on their hands and plays the game for four hours a night, leveling up their character quite quickly and unlocking new items and abilities (for free). The second player has less time on their hands as they have a kid or job. This second player can buy an item which gives him double experience points over a single weekend – so he's still playing the game, he's still building up skill and he's still unlocking the same items and abilities of free players, but he's doing it a little quicker because he's bought this item."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Virtually the same problems.

The BBC looks at life in the Habbo Hotel

It's an old story but an interesting one. According to the BBC:

"A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from "rooms" in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website. The 17-year-old is accused of stealing 4,000 euros (£2,840) worth of virtual furniture, bought with real money."

Is democracy coming to gaming?


"NYT- As Gaming Turns Social, Industry Shifts Strategies"


"At the conference Microsoft’s big push was about “democratizing” game development by letting small teams and even individuals develop casual games for the Xbox Live service. And there on the walls of Mr. Schappert’s conference room were new Xbox posters essentially identical to the theme Nintendo pioneered: shots from the front of healthy happy families and groups of young adults playing the Xbox 360. “Imitation, of course, really is the greatest form of flattery,” Mr. Fils-Aime of Nintendo said the next day."

* * *

It's funny because one of my favorite games ever was the Racing Destruction set which was published by EA. The game allowed users to create their own tracks. My friends and I would build tracks in our spare time then get together to play them. I think that, in all honesty, it was a completely social event. Now the game companies are "discovering" this fact. Well it is about time.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A fan video of the weighted companion Cube

Someone called GamerMonkey made this great little video:

Sons of Atari

Q&A WITH NOLAN BUSHNELL

Nolan Bushnell talks about gaming, past, present, and future. Here is something interesting he says:

"I feel that there is forever a need for people to socialize. Otherwise, people would never get laid and get married and the race would die out. So they have to socialize to a certain extent, and the socialization of a bar in a restaurant and things like that is the default for many people. So I felt that if we could create the game structure that helped that socialization, we'd just be better off."

***

I personally think that the online gaming has a limited degree of socialability, compared to the LAN party. In 2142, I tend to focus on the task at hand and avoid chit chat. Unless you are close to your teammates, the information over the mic will be of little use. The Battlefield is large and the tendancy to get seperated is quite apparent.

In any event, the article is worth reading.

Battlefield 3 Heroes Video Footage Released.

The upcoming FREE GAME from EA has a new trailer:

http://www.battlefield-heroes.com/video

It looks interesting. I think we are all hoping that it will be a success because free gaming is a cool idea.

Winner loses, loser wins.

The BBC reports on Cordova's long wait for justice..."

They say justice delayed is justice denied. This appears to the be the sentiments of the citizens of Cordova who had their environment destroyed by the Exxon Valdez. As the BBC reports:

"But none of the plaintiffs has received a cent because for the past 14 years Exxon Mobil has been appealing. Over the course of those appeals $5bn has been whittled down to $2.5bn. Inflation has eaten into the value of what is left and around 20% of the original plaintiffs have died. Now it is the turn of the Supreme Court in Washington to have the final say. Will it be $2.5bn or will it be nothing? There are many people in Cordova hoping and praying right now."